With no one taking over, All Sew is prepared to close doors this fall

By Daniel Adam
Staff Writer

Judi Helgeson, owner of All Sew in Rainy River is ready to enter her second retirement at the end of September. She says she’s enjoyed serving the District and beyond.

“I love this area — the people, the river… it’s such a comfortable, scenic area,” says Helgeson, who was born in Atikokan. “How could a person not love being here?”

She says the fabric store helped provide a convenient option for those in the District’s west end.

“There’s a lot of people upset that I’m leaving,” she says. “It’s going to be a big loss because I do a lot of clothing repairs as well.”

Helgeson says she wants someone to continue running the fabric store, but has had no takers yet. She says if no one takes over the business, the lot will still be for sale. She says someone could run a different business out of it, or convert it into a living space.

“A person could turn it from commercial into residential easy,” she says. “It would make a nice home.”

When Helgeson began All Sew in 2007, it wasn’t a physical store. It was a place where she could sew — her basement.

In 2013, she retired from Manitoba Hydro, moved to Rainy River, and opened the fabric store in December of the same year. Since then, the store has provided fabrics and repairs for many customers.

Helgeson, who will turn 68 in the fall, says she is ready for her second retirement.

“I’ve got so much stuff at home that’s just not getting done,” she says. “Even with only being open three days a week.”

Once re-retired, Helgeson has lots planned. She says she wants to spend more time at an RV park in Gimli.

“Last year, we opened up the trailer, and then we never got back until September to close it up again,” she says. “I want to start exploring Canada too. Like I say, I went straight from retirement to this property and working again, so I’ve been tied down.”

She looks forward to working on her flowerbeds and improving her property when she wants, rather than having to find time on her days off.

“I just want to relax a little more,” says Helgeson.

All Sew has a half-off sale on through June. The sale excludes items being sold on commission.